Archive for category The Flash

Superhero Weekly: Supergirl gets political in Resist. The Flash burns up Infantino Street. Arrow goes Missing.

Spoilers will try to remain non-partisan.

(Source: The CW)

I can’t say the same for Supergirl this week. Resist is filled with political messages from the beginning to the end. Most of it comes from Calista Flockhart’s returning Cat Grant, as she lounges from Airforce One to her office at CatCo dispensing speeches on female empowerment and obvious digs at a certain reality star president. Yes, Cat can be really cool, but shouldn’t cooler heads prevail? Is this the moment? Am I taking Cat too seriously?

Lynda Carter is back as President Olivia Marsdin. That was pretty amazing casting, but can we talk sense of a moment? Why would the President of the United States decide to head straight towards an armed conflict? Airforce One does not have offensive capability. It barely has any defensive one. This is not a secret. The fact that it gets blown up does not surprise anybody. Cat (who keeps dropping names like if her life depends on it) survives thanks to Supergirl. The president survives thanks to the fact that she’s an alien. The crew of the plane and the members of the Secret Service that were in the plane didn’t make it. Not the wisest of moves.

Still, the ladies have this one. Lena Luthor, my favorite character, remains the smartest mind in the room and she is on point to the end. Rhea perhaps was the weakest link, driven by ego and emotion. Even Lillian Luthor was far more effective in her choices than the Daxamite Queen. Cat demonstrates she’s still the Queen of All Media.

(Source: The CW)

It was filler for most part of the episode. The Flash recruits Captain Cold, once more removed from time. Argus holding a piece of Dominator technology. And all for naught, as the spectacular cannon doesn’t really have enough kick to trap Savitar to the Speed Force.

But let’s focus on what was done right, and that means the two scenes I liked. First, is the ambiguous speech delivered by Killer Frost to Savitar as he repairs his suit. Is that Caitlin Snow peeking from behind Killer Frost’s words?

And second is that dark and haunting swan scene. Seeing Iris’ video message to Barry as he runs that short distance that feels like light years away was a tug at the heartstrings. Yes, it was dark and tragic but to quote a certain Grand Admiral, “but it was beautifully done.”

(Source: The CW)

Meanwhile in Arrow, Chase is in prison but he has minions about. Evelyn Sharp is back and so is Black Siren. That also means we get this heartbreaking moment in which Quentin Lance has to see one of his dead daughters come back to life just to learn it’s not her. That was cruel and unusual punishment.

Chase also has the help of Talia’s Al Ghul faction from the League of Assassins Catalog. That means Oliver will soon find himself enlisting Malcolm Merlyn, and further down the line, Nyssa Al Ghul. He also has a very clear idea of where he’s taken his prisoners. Lian Yu island should consider advertising with some travel agencies. It’s starting to become a popular destination.

The big cliffhanger at the end was worth waiting all this time for. In the hidden underground prison of Lian Yu, Oliver recruits his last asset. It’s Deathstroke himself.

Highs/Lows/PositronCannonsAndSpeedForceBazookas:

  • I know everyone has a political agenda right now, and I’m not a fan of certain president that will go unnamed, but I feel Supergirl has played a little too much political fan service, specially in this episode.
  • Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) returns. Yes, she’s a rocket but you don’t interrupt a speech between two leaders of different worlds because you think you know best. I’m aware all parties were female but a) Rhea was acting like a conqueror b) President Marsdin was demanding a surrender without having the advantage and c) Cat decided to interrupt? Sorry, but that was an ego trip on Cat’s part. I usually enjoy those, but not when the stakes are this high.
  • On the other hand Cat still rocks it as Supergirl’s mentor. That was an inspirational speech.
  • I’m on the fence of the galvanizing speech that moves everyone to resist, it’s a bit of a throwback to one that Cat made on season one, and I guess with that history it works.
  • President Olivia Marsdin (Lynda Carter) is all but asking Rhea to shoot her down. Was that really a strategy? Was that really smart? What about the other people that died on that plane?
  • “At least tell me you’re still a democrat.” Cat Grant still gets the best lines. I know exactly why Calista was going for a full roast, and I don’t like the guy either but is this the platform? It doesn’t fit the scenario either, with Lynda Carter cast as the President. Was New Daxam supposed to be North Korea?
  • I was expecting Cat to figure out that James is the Guardian in no time. Yes, you can see his eyes. Also, I had a bit of a hard time telling him apart from the other stormtrooper rejects.
  • Surprisingly, it’s Lillian Luthor of all people who seems to put her politics outside for the cause. Well, until she decides to betray them at the very end. To quote Supergirl, at least she is consistent.
  • Mon-El finally is a secondary character, which works better for him.
  • That ending, with Superman suddenly destroying the positron cannon and knocking aside Kara, let us know that we’re seeing a Krypton vs Krypton battle on the finale. I guess we’re going for a mind-controlled Kal El.
  • The idea of hiding Iris in Earth Two was smart. I have a smarted idea that should’ve occurred to someone the moment you heard that Argus had meta dampeners. HIDE IRIS IN ARGUS. Nobody has superpowers in there, correct? Okey, then keep her there!
  • Actually, if you got Layla to give you the Dominator device, why not ask for a sample of one of those dampeners so you could really trap Savitar? Cisco, I’m looking at you dude.
  • I disagree with Barry. Killer Frost is not immediate danger of death. Cisco could have helped in that fight and vibe Iris to safety. That fight between Killer Frost and Vibe should’ve happened on a different night.
  • Yes, it was a beautifully sad and haunting death scene, but here’s the problem now. It loses its merit if you bring her back. I know we all want Iris back, but it almost feels like a shame to undo that scene.
  • Arrow has gone back and forth with Damien Dah- sorry, my mistake. Let me start over. Arrow has gone back and forth with Adrian Chase a lot lately. He’s still one step above Damien, because Damien was just fucking annoying and boring. Chase still manages to do crazy in a slightly more interesting way.
  • Olicity shippers rejoice, they’re almost back together.
  • The flashback story has Oliver being drugged by Konstantin Kovar. My money was on him being Prometheus earlier in the season.
  • Deathstroke is getting a get-out-of-jail card. Something tells me he won’t be going back to it.
  • All three finales next week, and I’m actually glad since I need a break from the CW/DC universe. I don’t know if I will follow all three series again next season. I’m a little superhero-ed out, but I’ll pull through just for one more episode of each.

That will do for now.

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Superhero Weekly: Supergirl in a City of Lost Children. Flash, Cause and Effect. Arrow Honors Thy Fathers.

Spoilers could invade any moment.

(Source: The CW)

I’ve been very critical of Supergirl‘s mix and match storytelling recently, but tonight it was like watching a new show. The floor seemed to belong to Guardian in the beginning, but thankfully ends up being more about James himself. Lena Luthor is fooled by alien queen Rhea. And the Earth seems to be in the grips of a Daxamite invasion. What role do the Phorians play? This is definitely a story longer than a single episode. How did it play?

Overall it was pretty good. The Guardian grappled with the very essence of his identity: he’s there to instil fear. No, I didn’t miss the reference, but let’s not tackle that just yet. So instead of the Guardian, we get James Olsen using his humanity to help out. His difference of opinion with J’onn J’onnz was something I never thought I’d see. I think this was an episode where I actually liked Mecah Brook’s performance as James Olsen again.

Queen Rhea’s game of getting Lena Luthor to create her gate was not necessarily all a game. She’s a villain and a mother, there’s something of herself she actually had to give to make a real connection with Lena. Should we be worried? Yes, she’s motivated by emotion but not controlled by them. Her confrontation with Mon-El was not one of villain to superhero, but of mother to child. Mon-El points a gun at his mother, something that feels inherently wrong. That was a powerful scene, but Supergirl is not the kind of show in which Mon-El shoots his mother.

James manages to free the Phorians through his connection with the kid Marcus. The fact these were innocent people, massively affected by a huge expensive project rings like a warning against technological development without restrictions. On top of that, Rhea never meant to use the portal to go home but to bring forth all Daxamites to Earth.

(Source: The CW)

The Flash loses his memory after what I can only call a very stupid idea from Cisco and Julien becomes a complete mess. They attempt to block Barry’s short term memory and end up giving him amnesia. Of course, it’s really just an excuse to give Grant Gustin a little acting exercise. Nevertheless I found “Bart” entertaining and it was a fine performance. All done? Okey, now let’s jump to my favorite thing.

Killer Frost makes a grand appearance. Apparently Savitar has lost his memory as well by consequence. The former Caitlin, Miss Frost if you’re nasty, has come with an offer. She will help them get Barry back to full restored RAM status which will also give Savitar back his mojo. And here’s the reason why she can help – she’s still a scientist. I found that incredibly cool because even as the Killer Frost persona, she’s still got mad science skills. Also, any other other hothead meta would have gone for destruction and mayhem since she has nobody to answer to now. Instead, she’s done her own cold calculations and knows she’s better off with Savitar around. I myself can’t be sure. She could have taken over the city easily with an inexperience Flash and no boss bossing her around.

The thing is, Caitlin Snow is still in there. Cisco tries to bring her in by talking about some old anecdote regarding the particle accelerator. The fact that she remembers already gave us the idea that Cait is somewhere in there. I really thought Killer Frost could’ve taken on the fire while they sorted Barry out. And we did get a little scene with her eyes turning back to normal for a second. That means we’ll get Caitlin back at some point. And although it will be a happy moment, she’ll be back in the background. In the meantime, enjoy having Killer Frost while you can.

Finally, while they keep trying not to fall in love, Tracy Brand and HR Wells design a trap for Savitar. Too bad they need 3,86 Terajoules to turn it on.

(Source: The CW)

Meanwhile in Arrow

Well, the temporary good news – and I say this because I’m fully aware that there’s two episodes left this season – is that finally Olivier squares off with Prometheus/Adrian Chase/Simon Morrison and takes him down. How this all comes about is a lot of exposition but not really much excitement. Oliver gets a box that contains a body encased in concrete. He gets a video showing his father, Robert Queen, struggling with the guy who ends up falling in concrete. Yada yada Adrian is working with Derek Sampson to build a bomb that would cause a strain of tuberculosis to-

Enough already. Unfortunately, making the story convoluted doesn’t quite add anything to it. Tiresome, but the whole thing ends when they catch up to the bad guys and bring them down. For this, Oliver dons once more the Green Arrow costume and fights Prometheus. To knock the wind out of his sails, Oliver also reveals that Simon/Adrian’s father tried to disinherit him because he was insane.

Of course it looks too easy because after all this trickery, there’s a good chance Adrian Chase planned to get caught because we need more drama. I was just glad to see Thea Queen back. Unfortunately, the episode fails to bring much excitement even when Prometheus is finally behind bars.

Highs/Lows/WeBuiltThisCity:

  • James telling Marcus over and over that he won’t leave him alone. It’s another case of individual will against unsurmountable power. Always works in fiction, but in real life you can’t just overpower something by willing it. Still one of the best scenes this week.
  • Mon-El pointing a freakin’ gun at Rhea was a powerful scene. You could tell that’s what he was talking about when he said he needed to pick something up before they leave. I don’t think he could have pulled that trigger. Having him kill his mother couldn’t really happen in this show, nor it should. This was another great scene this week.
  • Was the Phorians’ power tied to the same kind of energy the portal used by accident or design?
  • The Phorians are the key to sending the Daxamites back to where they came from.
  • Killer Frost rules. A cold, level headed super-villain that knows when she needs to ally herself with the good side to move things along.
  • It’s obvious we’re going to get Caitlin back and that’s the reason the show is making sure Frost does not live up to her “Killer” moniker.
  • To activate the “Speed Force Bazooka” they need 3,86 Terajoules. Anybody else thought this was a play on the 1,21 Jilowatts needed for the Flux Capacitor in the DeLorean from Back To The Future? No? Just me then.
  • Sorry, Cisco. It’s not a closed loop. On the big fight with the future Flash, Savitar leaves one time-remnant-Flash to go back to the past and become Savitar. But that means he still remains moving forward in time after that. Not a closed loop! To be a closed loop, the future Savitar would have to travel to the past himself.
  • After mentioning the incredibly over-the-top energy requirements of the Speed Force Bazooka, we’re taken somewhere where a red glowing stone seems to promise that kind of power. And the supposedly fearsome, but obviously CGI figure of King Shark seems to guard it. Definitely looks like a boss level.
  • This week’s Arrow episode is similarly named to Season 1, Episode 2: Honor Thy Father. They just made it plural: Honor Thy Fathers. No reasons were given.
  • In what seems to be the last time we’ll get flashbacks, Anatoly is dropping Oliver on the island of Lian Yu to be rescued. Enter Konstantin Kovar (Dolph Lundgren), ready to mess up Oliver’s plans the moment he’s alone.
  • Thea Queen (Willa Holland) returns. We don’t see her don the Speedy gear anymore, but we know it’s there. Basically she gets to learn what her father left for her in a video several years ago, but only after she first learns he covered up a man’s death in concrete.
  • Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) can be an impressive villain when the script allows for it. But setting traps and false trails doesn’t really pay off if all we get is running around until the next encounter. A little personalization would have made much more impression.
  • All this talk about Simon Morrison/Adrian Chase/Prometheus reminds me that we haven’t seen Vigilante again.
  • The backstory with Rene Ramirez not showing up to the hearing to regain his daughter’s custody seems like adding more weight to a plot that already has too many threads. And I’m with Quentin on this one, it’s just frustrating to hear Rene talk about his daughter being “better off without him.”
  • Make a bigger deal about Oliver putting on the suit. Here’s an off the cuff idea: you could have used the voice of his father as Oliver puts on parts of the suit, gets his bow, dons the mask and time the full reveal just as his father ends up saying “you can save this city.” You could’ve had a genuine moment there, and you let it go.
  • Of course we’re not done with Prometheus yet, but I really don’t think this is going to be a satisfying conclusion at this rate. We’ve gone back and forth way too many times at this point.

That will do for now.

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Superhero Weekly: Supergirl’s Alex. The Flash Knows Who You Are. Arrow goes Underneath

Spoilers might be from the future! Ok, that one sucked. Let me go back in time and change it.

I’m seeing a trend in CW superhero shows. I know that as plots go, it’s pretty common, but I’m getting a bit tired of the whole hero-has-trust-issues-learns-to-trust-saves-the-day storyline. Because of that, I might not even discuss the main story anymore and just focus on what worked.

(Source: The CW)

I really wanted Supergirl to use Alex to focus on, you know, Alex Danvers. And it does in a way, but it’s more centered in what she means to both Maggie and Kara. I wanted to see Alex escape on her own, using her skills and her determination. She does manage to boost the signal of her sub-dermal tracer. That was pretty badass, but it didn’t quite pay off.

In the meantime, Kara and Maggie take turns playing the Clarice Sterling role with a Hannibal Lecter-wannabe, Rick Malvern (David Hoflin). He not only used to be their classmate back in Midvale (the Smallville-like town where the Danvers sisters grew up), but he also has done something nobody else in the show has: he has deduced that Kara and Supergirl are the same person. Davin Hoflin’s performance of a deranged, vindictive and smart villain was particularly good. Yes, sorry. I know he’s the bad guy, but he had moments where his acting was shoulders above most of the regular cast.

Also, it’s hard not to empathize with Maggie and her views of Supergirl. The sledgehammer approach might not work in every scenario and this episode was an ideal example of that. Yes, Supergirl ends up having to rely on her humanity to get a clue as to where Alex might be. But I really wanted Alex to have managed to free herself by then.

(Source: The CW)

The Flash goes for broke. There’s a great story in tonight’s episode that seems to be pushed all the way to the back. In the forefront, we seem to have Joe West’s love story with D.A. Cecile where he doesn’t want to mix her in up in the crazy world of superheroes. On the other hand, we meet Tracy Brand and shortly thereafter we have H.R. Wells dialling up the charm. I would’ve prefer both romances to be downplayed even further.

The story I wanted on the forefront is the clash between Killer Frost and The Flash. As it is, this also depends on Cisco as Vibe, since it seems the Flash has forgotten how to actually attack his former friend. But in between, we do get this amazing chase scene with Killer Frost forming an ice path that somehow propels her forward in style. I can’t blame this one on the show, a lot of past ice-welder superheroes and villains have used the same “traveling” method. You do leave a trail though. That and some new amazing villainess wardrobe just makes me think she should have been the big bad this season.

Oh, Savitar is a future-future-future version of Barry. Yes, I did call it and it was the most shocking version. It’s given away early by Frost when she mentions that he and Flash are very much alike (cringe at the obvious). It was indeed about time.

(Source: The CW)

Arrow gives us a little alone time between Oliver and Felicity. To do that, an EMP blast hits the Arrow bunker and disables every electronic device. From there to explaining how Chase has boobytrapped ventilation ducts and elevator shafts… Well, consider it dramatic license standard use to allow the couple-who-are-not-a-couple to admit to some truths and reveal a few secrets.

The rest of the team are trying to get them out, obviously. Somehow it turns out the bunker has all this additional stuff that seems intent on poisoning you or killing you. After Oliver takes a nasty fall down an elevator shaft (he lands on a huge metal spike) he ends up losing blood for rest of the adventure. Add to that the fact that Felicity’s spinal chip has been fried by the EMP, and you have the universe trying to put these two suffering love birds together again. The show also rewrites a little history by showing us a night from eleven months ago in which Felicity and Oliver re-hooked up for one time only.

In the end, we’re left with more questions than answers. Felicity incites Oliver to find out who he is, and says she understands now about William. Meanwhile, William aka “Matthew” makes a new friend at his bus stop.

Highs/Lows/IcePath!!!

  • Not enough Alex in Alex. It would have meant so much to make her escape on her own. That was not much to ask, was it?
  • Maggie Sawyer has all the points when talking about Supergirl’s punch approach to crime fighting. Hence, this episode.
  • Supergirl/Kara has to use her humanity to find out where Alex is from Rick’s father, Peter Thompson, played by Gregg Henry. He’s not given much to do in this episode. On the other hand, David Hoflin turns in a well crafter performance of above-average smart kidnapper Rick Malvern.
  • Oh yeah, there was a secondary storyline with Lena Luthor and Rhea, now turned business woman. She wants to get L-Corp to build one of her transdimensional portals. I think the moment that happens there’s going to be an invasion. Lena discovers her (smart!), turns her down (smarter!!) and then reconsiders (wait, what??). Because, you know, reasons.
  • Barry and Cisco get to be superheroes and control their powers. Caitlin turns into Killer Frost like a vampire takes over her body. Not fair, and I know the source material backs them up.
  • However, if Killer Frost is really going all in, I think she would make a terrific A-list villain. I would have loved a season where she turns into the main big bad and her blast actually freezes. There were only a couple of instances in which her freeze blasts did some damage and more than a few where it just pushed the other person over a desk. It’s not Windy Frost, come on.
  • That being said, the frozen path left behind as she travels was straight out of the comics. I liked the chase.
  • Also, killer wardrobe! I’m glad she’s gone bad in style.
  • I want to like Tracy Brand. She is a smart cookie and just a little quirky. She also gets major geek creds with the Sarah Connor reference.
  • Who is Tracy Brand seeing when she sees HR Wells, his face or that holographic disguise he supposedly wears to prevent anybody from seeing evil Harrison Wells?
  • Savitar is Barry from an even more distant future. At least now Savitar has a face. See, the logical progression here is for Barry to tell his friends to stop Savitar without telling him how. That way there’s no way he’d know.
  • Is Killer Frost pulling her punches a little bit? Not as obviously as Cisco was, but is she? Was her intention to give Barry a clue by telling him they’re very much alike?
  • Arrow is once more putting the idea of Olicity on the table. I’m not sure if they’re doing it to get some views or if this idea has legs, but if it does I really hope it’s a much more grown up plan.
  • Trust. It seems everyone in the CW part of the DCU has trust issues. I’m starting to get bored of hearing the same thought on a different series, and keep in mind I’m already bored of hearing it in the same series several episodes in a row. If you are going to have an issue where Oliver doesn’t trust Felicity, then leave the issue open until resolution instead of “solving it” and then it happening again at the beginning of the next. You don’t have to make this a sitcom.
  • Here’s my only enjoyable moment in Arrow this week: Curtis gets a super-ball courtesy of Argus and uses it to find Felicity and Oliver. When Oliver collapses of exhaustion and blood loss, the super-ball springs a hypodermic needle (cue Felicity with the Star Wars interrogation droid reference). Curtis chooses that moment to explain how a shot of adrenaline works and Felicity chooses to stab Oliver with the needle in mid-speech. Oliver is up!
  • And after William is mentioned, cue the view to a kidnapping with Chase at the bus stop. Can’t say I wasn’t expecting it.

That will do for now.

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